Annovera: The New Ring on the Block

Written by Kristen Miranda, MD, MPH

If you haven’t heard of it you’re not alone! It’s a brand new type of birth control ring.

What is Annovera?

Annovera is a new form of hormonal birth control. Like it’s predecessor the NuvaRing, it is a flexible rubber ring that is placed inside the vagina to prevent pregnancy. The ring is in place for 21 days and then taken out for a week. At the start of the next cycle the same ring is placed back in the vagina for another 21 days. Here is information on how it is used.

One ring lasts an entire year. You may be familiar with the contraceptive ring Nuvaring which is also placed in the vagina. The main difference between the NuvaRing and Annovera is that while the NuvaRing is thrown away at the end of each month, Annovera lasts an entire year. It even comes in a convenient package to store it in when the week you are not using it.


What are the side effects of Annovera?

Side effects are similar to other forms of combined hormonal contraception like the pill, patch and Nuvaring. The most common side effects were changes in vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge, vaginal itching, headaches, and nausea.

Is it a good option for me?

Annovera is a great option for women who desire reliable birth control. It is also a great option for people who desire long term birth control but do not want to visit a provider for the other long acting methods such as the IUD or implant, which require a procedure to be placed and removed.

You should NOT use Annovera if you:

  • Smoke and are over 35 years old
  • Have diabetes and are over 35 years old; have diabetes with high blood pressure or problems with your kidneys, blood vessels, eyes or nerves; or have had diabetes for over 20 years
  • Have reduced blood flow to your brain (cerebrovascular disease)
  • Have had a stroke
  • Have headaches with changes in vision, numbness or weakness, have migraine headaches with aura, or are over the age of 35 with any type of migraine
  • Have liver disease or liver tumors
  • Have or have had breast cancer or any cancer that is sensitive to the female hormones estrogen and progesterone
  • Have reduced blood flow or blockage in 1 or more of the arteries that supply blood to the heart (cardiovascular disease)
  • Have or have had a blood clot in your arms, legs, lungs, or eyes.
  • Have a problem with your blood that makes it clot more than normal
  • Have high blood pressure that is not controlled with medicine or have high blood pressure with blood vessel damage
  • Have had a heart attack
  • Have a heart rhythm or heart valve problems that increase your risk of having blood clots such as an infection of the inner lining of the heart and heart valves or an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation
  • Have unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Are allergic to segesterone acetate, ethinyl estradiol, or any of the ingredients in Annovera
  • Take any Hepatitis C drug combination medicine containing ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir, with or without dasabuvir. This may increase the levels of the liver enzyme alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in the blood

This is not a full list please see the manufacturer’s details and talk to your doctor for more information on whether Annovera is right for you

What other options do I have?

There are many other forms of highly effective birth control Every person responds differently and the best method for you is the one that works for you.

The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of HeyDoctor, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

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